On First Listen
Black Sabbath

By: Andrew Gaerig

Posted 03/13/2007 - 12:45:57 PM by grandbanks:
 "Sabbath is about due for a resurgence in popularity among finicky, hip music fans of the type recently enjoyed by Bruce Springsteen and Queen." Springsteen and Queen seem largely invoked by music critics to describe current bands that have a minor resemblance, not by a mass of hipster cognoscenti, though this is often the embryotic beginnings of said resurgence. Hopefully Sabbath will not become hip, not that I have much at stake in it, but that would just be too much for me to take. They have been mentioned in reference for so many years (going on towards their fifth decade) that it is silly to imagine that the current crop of doomers is "upping the image." It sure would be sweet, in some ways, though, to imagine your typical Decembrists fan melding into an Ozzfest attendee, which is somewhat what this piece is imagining. I am sure that Tommy is psyched for the recognition as a worthy guitar-god, though. Gotta go with Vol. 4 as my favorite, predictable but hard to top.
Posted 03/13/2007 - 12:55:11 PM by wilde-thang:
 interesting piece. (in almost reverse to yourself) This was the first band I got into having received Heaven and Hell for my 11th birthday on a huge slab of black vinyl... i agree on many many points here. especially the not quite perfect LP. although i truly believe... had Albini produced Volume4 and released it exactly 20years after it was released it would be heralded much more of the masterpiece that really it deserves. (1000 Homo DJ's did a great cover of Supernaut about this time). I am a great fan of Iommis double tracking and intertwining the lead guitar parts, weaving in and out which ulitmately leads me to my 2 favorite records ever released. Marquee Moon and Sonic Youths Sister. I am convinced he is due much more credit than he deserves. His riffs were and in many cases are still the benchmark and some of production techniques used were (i think) fairly novel for the time [listen the the guitar solo in Paranoid and pan over from left to right during it] - I never saw them live and will always be disappointed at missing them and i have only Rapeman to add the 'fav bands not seen' pile. I moved on into Goth / indie (sisters / smiths / etc) once i got older but i still have all my sabbath on vinyl and probably monthly still manage to give something an airing. I have my own kids now and spend most of my time playing them Deerhoof... one day i shall crack open the vinyl vault and sit them down to Wheels of Confusion and watch their faces! LOL!!
Posted 03/13/2007 - 06:45:51 PM by garlad1:
 It was always the critics who panned Sabbath, not so much the fans ('Sir Chicken Legs' Danzig once said he discovered Sab just by looking at the 1st album cover). In that light, this piece makes absolute sense. Ozzy's open and absolute Beatles worship isn't much different than the typical indie band of today, or for that matter, a contemporary like Big Star. 10-20 years ago, it just wasn't cool to be into the same music as your cat-swinging D&D; playing 'metal up your ass' t-shirt wearing bretheren. Thankfully, I didn't have that problem. Interesting side note: If the Osbournes ever loosen up on the stranglehold they have over the group's back catalog, there's some amazing live early 70's performances (bootlegs) that deserve to be heard, much along the lines of what Neil Young's doing now with his Archives today(well...more Fillmore East, less Massey Hall).
Posted 04/17/2007 - 03:10:18 PM by raskolnikov:
 This piece is actually pretty good, but Gaerig's claim about Sabbath Bloody Sabbath and Sabotage being the best Sab albums is farfetched and forced. Even he cannot back up such a claim with any real evidence, dwelling instead on the first four releases and their wondrous brooding power. Master of Reality is their true unsung great album, briefly touched on here.....
Posted 10/10/2007 - 11:00:43 AM by dubidet:
 All of y'all are - suhprise - fullashit. Sabbath was only Sabbath with Ronnie James D. on the mic. The rest of it is fodder for the eBay or merch core bands that raskolnikov holds so dear...